Friday, January 11, 2013

After The Short Break

Well here we are. Today is the 11th, and that means Claire is 19 months old today. For all of you who have never had a child before, this is a year and a half plus one month. I haven't posted to the blog in I don't know how long, but maybe when I feel like I have a bit of control over my life, I will fill it up with a bunch of cute photos from Claire's second Christmas.

I have been sick for the last week. Being a breastfeeding mom and sick at the same time means no meds and waking up feeling you might die. Of course I am exaggerating, but I am really envious of all you NyQuil users out there right now. Top it off with a babe that wants to wake up at 3am a couple days in a row, and we have lost all control!

I am a little sad about my New Year's resolutions. One of them was actually to regain control of my life. I think that more means to control Claire's sleeping and eating habits. However, it felt like a rude awakening (although I should not be so surprised) to be reminded that she chooses when she wants to eat and nurse and sleep. Luckily I love her with all my big old heart because this mom hasn't slept longer than 3 hours at a time for almost 2 years now.

Alright, now that I have thrown my own pity party, let us get down to business! Danny has been on a break from school. He is between semesters and has had extra time to spend with the family. Danny bought us tickets to Disneyland for Christmas and we wanted to go sometime in January before he started school back up. We had it all booked to go last week, but Claire got sick and we thought she wouldn't have a good time so we decided to cancel. Now I am sick, otherwise we would go this coming Monday.

Claire has really gotten into Cinderella the last week or so. I am actually really excited. I am the type of mom that wants to steer clear of stereotypes like little girls all pretend to be princesses, but for some reason, her interest in this classic makes me happy. I think it is a bit of nostalgia poking through. I can basically remember this whole movie and sing along to entertain Claire. The only part that had Danny and I turn our head is when the mice are beginning to make a dress for Cinderella. One of the mice says Leave the sewing to the women! It was a funny little reminder of the time in which this movie was made and left us laughing about how inappropriate that comment would be nowadays.

I hope I feel better soon because I want to take advantage of this break from school that Danny has! There are a bunch of things I would like to get done around the apartment and I would love to squeeze in disneyland next week, too. I will just keep my fingers crossed for now.

Here are a couple things Claire has been doing lately that I don't want to forget:

1. UH OH! Everything is uh oh these days. She worries about anything getting on her hands, or dropping anything, even if it is not a big deal. She was reading Sandra Boynton's book Blue Hat, Green Hat yesterday (the turkey keeps putting his clothes on wrong) and all I could hear was UH OH. I thought something was wrong until I looked to see what she was doing.

2. She thinks burping is so funny. She will walk around patting her babies' backs and let out a little burp! to offer them a bit of relief. After she eats, she often pretends to burp also. Man, what are we teaching her! I guess a good sense of humor. haha!

3. I always find her reading her dad's books. The other morning I walked out to her reading Danny's newest subscription to McSweeny's. She was also recently found reading Existentialism is a Humanism and Confederacy of Dunces. Love her!

Friday, December 21, 2012


Here we are last night. We went on a train ride at Vasona Park to see the Fantasy of Lights! :)

Here are a few other things I am up to:

Reading: My husband, Danny is completely head over heels in love with literature. At any given moment he would jump at the chance to give me a recommendation for a book to read. He has been reading a bunch of books for classes lately and told me I should read The Keep next. I am now a slow reader thanks to a little babe named Claire so it will probably take me a while to finish it. I just started it so don't hold your breath for a book review anytime too soon!

Watching: I am re-watching two tv series right now thanks to our beloved Netflix. How ridiculous is that? Do normal people actually re-watch something tv shows? I am re-watching Brothers and Sisters during the day while Claire sleeps, and Danny and I are watching Breaking Bad at night together. I finished Breaking Bad a while back, but since Danny takes much longer to finish shows due to his extremely heavy eyelids, I told him I would watch with him. Brothers and Sisters appeals to my family-drama-that-makes-me-cry-almost-every-episode side while Breaking Bad has my jaw dropping the whole time. I LOVE them both. Twice.
Claire and I are also watching Elf a bunch. Her favorite parts are when Buddy the elf burps for...ever and when he is dancing in the mail room. I think we are watching it for the 10th time today? I can't get enough of this movie.

Listening to: Christmas on Pandora! We have the Kids Christmas station and the regular old Christmas station on during the day around here. The only drawback to the Kids Christmas station is when Alvin and the Chipmunks comes on. No! They are not welcome in my home. Their voices make me want to rip my ears off. Anyone else?
We also listen to Elizabeth Mitchell in the car. Claire is getting another one of her cds for Christmas so we can mix it up a bit. And to answer that nagging question about if I ever listen to grown up music...the answer is rarely. New Years resolution perhaps? I just might think so...

Thinking about: Yesterday I was researching the historical background of Christmas. I wanted to know who started the holiday and when. I was intrigued by the information I found about how Christmas originated as a non-religious celebration of the lengthening of the days during winter solstice. Fascinating! It left me thinking about what I would like to convey to Claire and any other kids we may have in the future about the meaning of Christmas. Historically Christmas is so different than anything that most families celebrate today. So does this mean that I don't want my family to celebrate it because the world has strayed from the roots of this winter celebration? No. I absolutely adore Christmas. I love it because of all the things the holiday meant to me as a child and growing up. To me, the Christmas season represents family, giving, renewal, remembrance, and even youth. Even if I do not agree with why or how Christmas was brought about, I agree with spreading the love and taking special time during the year to gather and celebrate each other along with the magic that comes with Santa as a child, and as a parent. Christmas really is magical and contagious! I love it.

Excited for: Today is my dad's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!) We are doing the unthinkable for an around Christmas birthday. We are combining his birthday celebration with a Christmas get together with my Grandma and Papa (Mom's side). He doesn't mind though. We are doing an early dinner and then exchanging gifts and hanging out together. I am really excited because not only do we all get to be together, but I feel like the holidays are really taking off. Each year when my dad's birthday rolls around, the days that follow until Christmas move quickly and are jam-packed with family and fun. Can't wait! :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

To Baby or Not To Baby

one of Claire's first photos

When are you having the next one?

You guys are going to have to have a little boy pretty soon. 

These comments are making debuts more often in my conversations with friends and family lately. Claire is 18 months now and for some reason everyone else in the world thinks that since she is walking around, babbling her mouth off, we are thinking about getting pregnant soon. I'm ashamed to admit that these comments are getting to me a bit and I have had babies on the brain. This post is not meant to be a final decision or anything, more of a space to express my thoughts and perhaps get some insight.

Danny and I were almost sure we have completed our family. As you can imagine, parenthood changes every day. We have our easy days and our hard days. Our sleepless nights and giggle-fests. The thing is, we love our easy days and our hard days as a family of three. Our easy days don't necessarily make us long to expand our family. They make us grateful that we have the abundant time and energy to devote to Claire and Claire only.

I worry about bringing a newborn into the mix and shaking up our family life. If the experience is anything like our life with Claire the first year, then our relationships would most likely be strained and time would be even harder to juggle.

In my opinion, the decision to have a second child is much harder than the decision to have your first. Having a second means changing a family. It means making a huge change in not only a marriage, but also in the first child's life. I worry about suffering from anxiety and having the anxiety affect not only Danny this time, but a toddler now too. But then again, I worry too much. Look at me, I am worrying about worrying too much! :) 

I think every family is unique. Some people loved being an only child. Some hated their siblings...and still do! If we do decide to have more than one child, it isn't guaranteed that they will all be one giant happy family like they are= on Brothers and Sisters (I am watching this show on Netflix all the way through...for the second time, ha). 

For now, Danny and I have decided to table the conversation. We were never discussing having another one very soon anyway, just my plan-and-worry-for-the-future self wanted to talk about a few years down the road. So that is that, I am not allowed to worry about this for a little while. I'm a little relieved to have put that little rule in place. I will just focus on my one little sweet girl for a while :)
on our walk the other day

But to keep feeding my curiosities a little bit, for other moms or dads, how did you know if and when you wanted to expand your family? Did your mind ever change one way or the other?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Claire's Visit With Santa

Danny went into work late on Thursday so he could come with me to take Claire to meet Santa, again. We went last year and much to my surprise, Claire didn't cry (she never liked strangers holding her). She just sat there on his lap and stared the camera down like she was figuring out how to grab it and chuck it at me for setting her there on that crazy man's lap.

This year, I thought she would be a little skeptical of him. I thought she would sit there and tolerate it for a second. Nope. It wasn't happening. 

I handed her to Santa, who tried to cradle her like she was a 3 month old baby. She hated it. She grabbed a huge chunk of my hair and I couldn't move away for the photographer to take the picture. By the time I pried my hair out of her hand, she was so upset. I felt so bad for her. But within eight seconds, she was out off Santa's lap, in my arms, and giving him high fives and knuckles. She spent the next ten minutes about 15 feet away from him, waving and smiling as he took photos with other kids. Claire is so funny. Love her!

People keep telling me that they love her Santa picture this year. Claire even loves it. She can spend an hour looking at it, pointing to Santa, and saying WOW. At least she wasn't traumatized! :)

Forgive me for taking a photo of the photo...our computer is broken and we can't upload her photo cd! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thinking of Newtown

I was going to write about our visit to see Santa, but with all of the sad news about the school shooting in Newtown, CT, I have decided to put that on hold until next week. I am so upset, just like every parent that is watching the news development on this issue. I can't imagine what these families are going through and I will continue to think about them and wish them well. 

Today, and every day, I am so grateful that my family gets to come home and cuddle close tonight. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Our Gingerbread House Night

I stocked up on some candy at Target today, but decided to swing by Whole Foods to grab an already assembled gingerbread house. I felt a little guilty for not baking the pieces of gingerbread myself and making this homemade holiday castle, but the guilt didn't last long. Fifteen bucks for a great quality gingerbread house that smelled delicious sounds like a steal to me! 

While we were at Whole Foods, an employee walked up to us and gave us a bag of groceries. Danny was excited to say the least and he kept insisting that we won the groceries based on his good looks. I think it was because Claire looked really cute or something. The produce department was handing out a bag of groceries every half hour from 4-8pm today and they picked our family today. We got $40 worth of groceries and we were pretty happy about it!

way too excited

Danny loves that cinnamon sugar kettlecorn, and I was grateful for the horseradish. I never buy it because Danny doesn't like it, but I will definitely put it to good use. I'm thinking ham is in our near future. And yes, that is smoked salmon.

Claire was most excited about the tangerines. She had never had one before. 

I think the peels were her favorite. Every time she tried to take a bite she would just get that sour look on her face, like she would never ever do that again. Then she would taste it again a few seconds later.

Next came the decorating! We didn't have much time since Claire had been ready to konk out for the last two hours. She was a trooper though...and a bit confused about why we were were slathering icing on this house and sticking candy to it. She got into it after a few minutes. 

placing the gummy bear shingles

she just loves to count "duh, doo, DAH!"

cookies and creme covered pretzels

our cotton candy icing looked amazing at first. when we came back from putting claire to bed it had disintegrated

that sweet, welcoming front door

This wasn't just Claire's first gingerbread house, it was mine too! I am happy that we got to share that together, even if we were finished in about 20 minutes. Claire's favorite part was the Kids Christmas station on Pandora. We are checking off our advent calendar holiday activities day by day! Now Danny and I are going to sit back with our stomach aches. :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Testing Out the Boots

This weekend was laid back, as most of our weekends are I suppose. The rain has kept us inside a bunch, but Claire and I did get out in the rain to test out her new rain boots. We live right by a big grassy area and river, so we headed out to stomp around in some puddles. The boots are a little hard for her to get used to, so we lasted about 4 minutes and then Claire was submerged in a puddle, crying, showing me her muddy hand. It was the end of the world, really. Here she is pre-fall. 
marching in the puddles was a hit

and that is the terrible, no good puddle she swam in

Since we live right next to this perfect giant mud puddle, I really want to invite some kids and their parents over to get dirty and have donuts one morning. The only thing I didn't think of was inviting them in our apartment...after they are all muddy. Maybe it will have to be an eat your donut, then jump in puddles and go home kind of morning. Sounds fun to me!

I edited these photos with Afterglow. I heard about the app from the girls at A Beautiful Mess in this post. So far it is super fun, and there are a ton of options to create a really unique look. I went really simple with these, but I have a bunch saved on my computer that have everything from circle frames to red glowing strips through the photos. Fancy!

Any other fun photo editing apps that I should try? Let me know :)